Improved self-organization thanks to virtual classrooms
The website is the most important information and sales platform for the automaker and its customers, with more than 100 localized versions in existence around the world. Although most content is created at the headquarters, the sales companies need to adapt a lot of it for their local market, as the group often launches new models at different times in the individual countries and doesn’t offer all of them in every country. On top of this, the website needs to comply with legal requirements such as data protection regulations, which can differ from one country to the next.
To ensure the international sales companies can make all necessary changes themselves, the automaker introduced a new content management system (CMS). Web-based training courses were chosen to teach users the basics. More detailed information and brief instructions were provided in guides and explanatory videos that were made available online. Despite all this, learning outcomes fell below expectations.
It became evident that there was no practical link to the new CMS because the staff members were studying simulated application environments. In addition, the web-based training courses were designed as passive learning formats, meaning users were unable to ask specific questions and didn’t receive any feedback on their personal progress. As a consequence, the learners were lacking a sense of personal achievement.
Boosting motivation with virtual classrooms
To enhance learning outcomes, the company sought help from corporate learning specialist tts. Based on an analysis of the most common queries sent to the support desk, tts first evaluated the existing concept and its formats. Results showed that although the web-based training courses and the guides were functional, their teaching content needed to be refined to actively involve users.
tts therefore suggested combining eLearning offerings with virtual classroom training sessions. The advantage of this is that participants communicate directly with the trainer or among themselves and are able to ask questions, just like in a real classroom. tts worked in close collaboration with the customer to create the learning content for the virtual sessions based on support desk queries, which provided a clear indication of where the biggest gaps in knowledge were.
Personalized support ensures swift learning success
The training courses are conducted by one of the automotive company’s experts and an experienced trainer from tts who supports the virtual classroom training – particularly when it comes to methodology – and can step in to offer assistance, where necessary, or even lead sessions. The online GoToWebinar tool is used for the seminars, during which participants can make their own contributions, while the trainer runs through case studies, supervises exercises and can offer help and direct feedback on learners’ input. To ensure they follow-up on and consolidate what they have learned, participants are given accompanying exercises.
The virtual classroom training sessions are offered on a voluntary basis, which – after the new opportunities for interaction – is the main reason why such rapid progress has been made. Participants actively join in, are more motivated and pay greater attention during the seminars than they did under the previous arrangements. And because participant numbers are capped at ten, the trainers can look after every individual personally and offer them personalized support.
Green light for more virtual classrooms
The blended learning concept from tts has won over the company across the board. All staff members who have already completed a session are enthusiastic about the new learning format. Now that the sessions on the key issues relating to the new CMS for website content have taken place, tts and the automaker have started working on new virtual classroom training programs.
At the same time, more guides are being drawn up to enable staff members to revise and extend their knowledge. The aim of the concept is to motivate the workforce to engage in independent learning – a process in which tts is continuing to actively support the customer.